We made our Hot Cross Buns this morning. It’s part of our Easter tradition. And everyone loves them!
I thought I would give you my own personal recipe and include all my secrets and tips. If you follow these instructions you will be sure that your Hot Cross Buns are delicious, light and healthy. The instructions are detailed, but making Hot Cross Buns is a happy task, and it will probably take you longer to read the instructions than it will to make the buns.
1. PREPARE THE YEAST
- 300mls warm water. The water needs to be about blood heat – think about having it as warm as a baby’s bath.
- 1 tablespoon of breadmaking yeast
- 2 teaspoons honey or molasses
Add the honey or molasses and stir to dissolve. Then sprinkle the yeast on the surface of the water and set aside for five minutes.
2. PREPARE THE DRY INGREDIENTS
- 4 cups (500 gm) flour. I usually use freshly ground 100% whole wheat flour, but if you are used to baking with white flour you might prefer to try a mixture of flours to begin with. In this case I would recommend: 1½ cups (170gm) wholewheat flour and 3 cups (300gm) high grade flour.
- 2 tablespoons (30gm) gluten flour. The gluten flour is important because it helps to make the buns light and non-stodgy.
- 3 rounded tablespoons dried milk
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon mixed spice
- 1 cup (150gm) dried fruit (say half currants, half mixed glace peel)
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 50gm butter
- 1 egg
Put all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl or into the bowl of your Kenwood Chef.
3. MAKE THE DOUGH
Chop the butter roughly into the dry ingredients.
Beat the egg
By this time the yeast should have risen to a nice froth. Add the yeast liquid and the beaten egg to the dry ingredients and start to mix, using the dough hook of you Kenwood Chef or a metal spoon until the mixture starts to come together and then use your hands to gather the dough and start kneading it.
Knead the dough for 3 minutes with the Kenwood or at least ten minutes by hand. When the dough is smooth and not sticky then you will know it has been kneaded enough. Leave it to rest for ten minutes.
After ten minutes you will notice that the dough has swelled in size. Knead the bread to make it ‘fall’. This is called ‘knocking down’
Divide the dough evenly into 15 or 20 pieces (according to whether you want large or smaller buns). Shape each small piece into a round flat shape and place in a tidy way on your baking tray. Leave a centimetre (about a finger width) between each bun. This space is very important because you will use this gap to help decide when the buns are ready to go in the oven.
Leave the buns in a warm place with a clean teatowel covering them until the buns have doubled in size and are just about touching each other. This will take between one and two hours.
4. MAKE THE CROSSES
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- 2 tablespoons white flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
Put all these ingredients into a jug or cup and mix with a spoon. You should have a white sticky mixture which is a bit too thick to pour.
Pour the mixture into a small plastic bag and squash it into one of the corners of the bag. Get yourself next to the risen buns and snip off a tiny corner of the bag so that you have a little hole about the size of a matchstick. Pipe the crosses onto the buns, going across the whole row of buns in one movement (this is why it’s important to have the buns on the tray in a tidy way.)
Gently move the tray to a preheated oven and bake at 220°C for 5 mins plus 180°C for 10 mins.
5. PREPARE THE GLAZE
Dissolve 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 tablespoon hot water.
When the buns come out of the oven leave them to cool for a couple of minutes then move them to a cooling tray and paint the tops with the glaze which will dry sticky and shiny.
P.S. These buns will freeze well and can be defrosted in the microwave. They are also nice split, toasted and buttered. Also, I am interested to know how your buns turn out so please post a message below to let me know. And if you have any questions – post a message below and I will respond there.
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Article written by Stephanie Walmsley.
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